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Erdogan battles key rival in Turkey's local elections

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Sunday, 31 March, 2024, 12:06
Erdogan battles key rival in Turkey's local elections

Turks voted on Sunday in municipal elections focused on President Tayyip Erdogan's bid to reclaim control of Istanbul from rival Ekrem Imamoglu, who aims to reassert the opposition as a political force after bitter election defeats last year.

Istanbul Mayor Imamoglu dealt Erdogan and his AK Party the biggest electoral blow of two decades in power with his win in the 2019 vote. The president struck back in 2023 by securing reelection and a parliament majority with his nationalist allies.

Sunday's results could now reinforce Erdogan's control of NATO member Turkey, or signal change in the major emerging economy's divided political landscape. An Imamoglu win is seen fueling expectations of him becoming a future national leader.